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12 Difficult Wage and Hour Compliance Issues for Employers
administrative exemption (insurance adjusters, team leaders, financial ees, inspectors, investigators, purchasing agents, examiners, executive assistants)
deductions from salary
joint employer/temporary ees
meal and rest breaks
misclassification as independent contractors
off the clock work
waiting and on call time
Wage and Hour Terminology
bonuses (nondiscretionary v. discretionary)
companionship exemption (nursing homes, home health aides)
computer professional exemption
creative professional exemption
deductions from salary
domestic service worker exemption
donning and doffing time
Fair Labor Standards Act
highly compensated employee exemption
joint employer liability
learned professional exemption
local delivery employee exemption
motor carrier exemption
on call time
outside sales exemption
Portal to Portal Act
retail sales exemption
spread of hours
Common Questions for Employers
Contact the Workplace Lawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Audits 1. What do I do if I get an audit notice from the US Dept of Labor? 2. What do I do if I get an audit notice from the State Dept of Labor? 3. Can I get audited both by the federal and the state DOL? 4. Can the DOL investigate all of my wage and hour practices? Deductions 1. Can I deduct loans I gave to employees from their salary? 2. Can I deduct monies for accidents from an employee's salary? 3. Can I make deductions from an employee's salary? 4. What is a safe harbor?
Litigation 1. How long can my employee claim unpaid overtime or minimum wage? 2. Will I have to pay attorneys fees to the employee's attorney? 3. What is a Rule 68 offer of judgment? 4. What are liquidated damages? 5. What does a "willful" violation mean?
Minimum Wages and Salary 1. What is the minimum wage? 2. Are there any exemptions from minimum wage? 3. Do I have to pay minimum wage if my employees get tips?
Misclassification 1. Can I classify my employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying taxes? 2. What steps can I take to designate someone doing services for me as an independent contractor rather than employee? Overtime 1. Do I have to pay overtime to all of my employees? 2. Is it a maximum number of hours per day or per week? 3. What are the exemptions from overtime? 4. Can I require my employees to work overtime? 5. Do I have to pay overtime if my employees worked overtime without my consent? 6. Can I give employees compensatory ("comp") time instead of paying overtime?
Payroll and Recordkeeping 1. How long do I have to keep payroll records for my employees? 2. What do I need to show on payroll records? 3. Can I pay my employees cash? 4. Do I need to use a timeclock or timesheets?
Tipping 1. Can I require my employees to share tips with others on the job? 2. What is tip pooling? 3. What is the minimum wage if my employees get tips? Working Hours 1. Do I have to give my employees meal breaks? 2. Do I have to give employees rest breaks? 3. Do I have to pay my employees for meal breaks and rest breaks? 4. How long do the breaks need to be in order not to be paid? 5. Do I have to pay for time when my employees commute to work? 6. Do I have to pay for time when my employees get ready for their shift? 7. Do I have to pay for time when my employees are merely "on call"? 8. Do I have to pay for time when my employees sleep during their shift? 9. Do I have to pay for time when my employees live in the client's home?
Contact the Workplace Lawyer at email@example.com for assistance.
The following companies have been sued over wage and hour compliance issues over the past year:
Affiliated Computer Systems (unpaid mandatory rest breaks, call center workers, Washington) American Coach Lines (drivers, Florida) AT&T (overtime, meal and rest periods, California) Best Buy (delaying wage payment on termination, inadequate wage statements) BP Products (overtime, gas station cashier, 48-hr workweek) Caribou Coffee (illegally skimming tips) Charter Communications (overtime) Chili's (meal breaks, California) Cintas (overtime, inaccurate records) Comcast (misclassification, overtime) Dell (misclassification of call center workers) DHL Express (delivery worker, overtime) Enterprise Rent a Car (overtime, moving vehicles) Expedia (misclassification as independent contractors, failure to pay workers comp and unemployment benefits, Web content editor, Massachusetts) Family Dollar (overtime, Florida, managers) Fastenal (assistant GMs, overtime) Food City (9th Circuit, fair pay across stores) Gannett (overtime, misuse of executive exemption, sales employees, Florida) Genesco (shoe retailer) Goodyear (overtime) Gristedes (overtime, misclassification of managers, NY) Heartland Brewery (New Jersey class action) Hofstra University (student employees, OT) HSBC Mortgage Corp. (OT, meal and rest periods, unlawful deductions) ING (class action, OT and benefits pursuant to severance) Kmart(unpaid meal and rest periods) McDonalds(overtime, Florida, asst mgr, meal and rest breaks) Pfizer (overtime, misuse of outside sales exemption, "must make sales", unpaid meal and rest breaks, pharmaceutical sales representatives, New York) Polo Ralph Lauren (failure to provide rest breaks or to pay off the clock work, failure to pay uniform allowance, failure to maintain accurate payroll records, cashiers and sales associates, California) Ross Stores (misclassification, asst store managers, OT) Safety Kleen (meal and rest breaks, failure to itemize wage statements) Santa Sweets (tomato grower, farmworkers claim bilked out of full wages) Sprint Nextel (sales employees, OT) Starbucks (uniform allowance) Toyota (assembly line workers, OT) Tyson Foods (multidistrict class action) Verizon (overtime, Blackberry/email on the clock work, customer service representative personal acct mgrs, joint employer, Florida) Walmart(meal and rest breaks, Minnesota) Winn-Dixie Stores(overtime, misuse of executive exemption, center store managers, Florida)